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Out of the Ordinary / Moya Roddy

Out of the Ordinary

By: Moya Roddy

€12.00
“These poems – as one might expect from the title – play with the idea of what is ordinary and what, quite definitely, is not. A gentle humour occasionally underpins the tender moments when we discover vast prairies of feeling bound within the cargo of everyday living. A woman, bored with her husband, recalibrates her life for a while with a new, imagined version of love; a Killeen of stillborn babies becomes the trigg...
ISBN 978-1-912561-13-1
Pub Date Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Cover Image Moya Roddy
Page Count 70
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“These poems – as one might expect from the title – play with the idea of what is ordinary and what, quite definitely, is not. A gentle humour occasionally underpins the tender moments when we discover vast prairies of feeling bound within the cargo of everyday living. A woman, bored with her husband, recalibrates her life for a while with a new, imagined version of love; a Killeen of stillborn babies becomes the trigger-moment of loss for a mother; and a country girl discovers what it is to be different from the more knowing town girls. This is an Ireland some commentators deny exists. But Moya Roddy offers the reader a series of unfiltered snapshots as if to reclaim it. Each poem finds its careful focus, allowing us to remember our own lost moments and enter into dialogue with a poetic voice that is authentic and truth-filled.” 

Mary O’Donnell 


“Stunning and memorable poems.”         

Rita Ann Higgins 


Praise for Moya Roddy’s other work

The Long Way Home:

“ … as the novel began to fall seamlessly together around the character of Jo Nowd, the realisation dawned that it is simply brilliant.” 

Victoria White, The Irish Times


“… a writer who attained ‘a more complex and contradictory vulnerability’ in her work.” 

Brendan Kennelly, The Irish Times 
(in an article by Katie Donovan)


Other People:

“… very much a literary writer, her breezy style borrows something from the best popular fiction writers; Wordsonthestreet have done short story fans a big service by publishing Moya Roddy ...” 

Kevin Higgins, Galway Advertiser


“… entertaining and thought-provoking … often haunting” 

Eamonn Kelly, Books Ireland 


The Day I Gave Neil Jordan a Lift:

“…a genuinely comic story … This is beautifully judged and paced and as sad as it is funny.” 

Hugh Leonard, Sunday Independent

Moya Roddy

Having left school at seventeen, Dubliner Moya Roddy attended the National College of Art and Trinity Arts Lab as a night student. She continued to paint during a two-year stay in Italy before moving to London where she trained as a television director. Que Sera Sera, which she wrote and directed, won a Sony Award in 1984 and in 1985 the British Film Institute commissioned her to write her first feature film. Several of her screenplays have been optioned in the U.S. and she has worked for Channel 4, BBC, Scottish Television and RTÉ. On her return to Ireland she published a novel The Long Way Home (Attic Press) which was described in the Irish Times as “simply brilliant”. Her collection of short stories Other People (Wordsonthestreet) was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and a radio play Dance Ballerina Dance was shortlisted for the P.J.O’Connor Award. With her partner Pete Mullineaux she’s co-written two plays for GYT and a radio play Butterfly Wings for RTÉ. She did a Portfolio Course in art at GTI (2005); and was awarded an MA in Writing (Hons First Class) from NUIG in 2008.  Although she’s been writing and reading her poetry for many years she only began sending it out recently. Her work was highly commended at the Patrick Kavanagh Awards in 2016 and shortlisted for the Hennessy Award in 2017. 


Review: Out of the Ordinary reviewed by Martina Evans for The Irish Times,  Jun 1st, 2019

While she has been writing and reading her poems for years Out of the Ordinary (Salmon, €12) is Moya Roddy’s first collection. Pared-back and precise, these poems quietly dramatic, not surprisingly, as Roddy is also a playwright. Most poems barely fill half a page, leaving space to ponder what is not said. Subtext is the playwright’s home ground; it is, after all, the silences that really make a poem unforgettable, beautifully expressed in Picking Blackberries, “... we reach … whoop as the first berry/touches base, a sound that’s not/ a sound as cans fill up.”

Which comes first, the poet or playwright? It is hard to know but it is clear that Roddy is deliberately working with the unsaid in final lines of Watermark – about a walk on Trá Bán – “I will remember this walk/because so little happened/and we never spoke about it”. This haunting crystallises around a large number of poems about Roddy’s Donegal mother who haunts the book from the first beautifully understated poem Miracle, where Roddy remembers praying for her mother to wake up from her afternoon nap:

Around five you’d rise,
unwind the long scarf
worn to protect your hair,
bring wan lips to life
with a dab of lipstick –
then sally forth
to get something in for tea
– eggs or a piece of liver –
waving and smiling,
waving and smiling
as if you’d just risen from the dead.

And then having risen from the dead, this Donegal outsider exiled in Dublin, continues to appear throughout the book. The family’s “country ways” a source of shame during Roddy’s childhood turn into “fruitful seeds,/an ear for sound, a body tensed to write”. Everything is passed down as towards the end, poems about Roddy’s daughter appear; the haunting reaches its apotheosis when the mother “is in the hand gripping my daughter’s shoulder.” We are brought full circle when the poem finishes with an eerie reprise of the poem’s title, “It was the first time I saw my mother:/the first time I caught a glimpse of myself.”


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